Leading Melbourne independent theatre company, StageArt has announced that NINE The Musical will be their last production, and they will not be continuing in 2019. Executive Producers Katherine Armstrong and Robbie Carmellotti have released the following statement:
“It has been a difficult decision to make as we reflect upon the past seven years which has seen us boldly stage productions which many said could never be done, while fighting hard for equality in casting and creative endeavours,” said Executive Producers Katherine Armstrong and Robbie Carmellotti. “The time has come where we can no longer keep up with the ever increasing costs and demands associated with running a viable independent theatre company, in its current incarnation.”
StageArt has always been fiercely independent and solely funded by Executive Producers Katherine Armstrong and Robbie Carmellotti, a conscious decision that gave the company the autonomy and power to take risks that commercial producers would not.
“This gave us the ability to achieve our mission of equality amongst performers, creatives, band and crew, while being lucky enough to present outstanding, and groundbreaking theatre to our audiences,” they continued. “We have felt an intense sense of satisfaction witnessing the professional success of so many talented people who were seen by audiences, talent managers and casting agents performing in StageArt productions.”
“We consider it a true honour to have been able to stage productions of diversity and to have supported launching careers like Gareth Jacobs (Genie – Aladdin), Jayme-Lee Hanekom (Violet – Charlie & The Chocolate Factory), Augie Tchantcho (General – The Book Of Mormon), Adam Di Martino (Omar – Aladdin), Iopu Auva’a (Harry Potter & The Cursed Child) and Jake Fehily (Augustus Gloop – Charlie & The Chocolate Factory) just to name a few as many StageArt alumni are excelling in major Australian productions and in theatres all around the world.”
“Audiences and reviewers alike regularly commented “Where do they find these people?” – the answer was simple, we auditioned with an open call policy and a dedication to take a risk with the best talent, not a name.”
“From humble beginnings of a self-devised play at Gasworks in 2011, StageArt soon grew into a trailblazing company producing 31 productions with The Color Purple, Memphis, Titanic and In The Heights – all standing out as remarkable moments within our history.”
“StageArt will continue to assess future possibilities – in the meantime, we would love to see everyone experience the genius creation which is NINE The Musical. Brilliantly directed by Michael Ralph and Musical Direction by Nathan Firmin, the show is receiving glowing reviews from all over town. We adore that a show of this calibre will be our last and we would love to share it with you.”
“Finally – to our subscribers, audience members, volunteers, casts, crews and everyone in the StageArt family, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this incredible experience which has shaped and changed our lives. And as ‘Sonny’ from In The Heights would say ‘It’s the end of an era!’” concluded Armstrong and Carmellotti.
Image: Katherine Armstrong and Robbie Carmellotti (supplied)